'Govt trying to allot forest land near B'luru to private groups'

Samaja Parivartana Samudaya chief S R Hiremath on Wednesday said the state government is trying to hand over forest land at Machohalli on the outskirts of Bengaluru to different organisations.

Proposal to transfer land

A proposal has been prepared to transfer land from the Forest Department to Revenue Department and then allot it to different organisations. This file would come before the Cabinet for approval. If this is done, chief minister, forest minister and several officials will go to jail, Hiremath told journalist here.

Hiremath said 96 acres and 12 guntas on Survey No 81 at Machohalli was declared as forest land way back in 1896. In 2016, the government issued a circular making it a reserved forest. The Law Department has clarified that this land cannot be alloted to any organisation or individual. Finance Department has also expressed the same opinion. But, Forest Department has stated that it has no objection to land allotment, saying that the land has already been released to the Revenue department.

The government’s plan is to allot 28.20 acres for  colleges, hospitals and government offices and 40.20 acres for private organisations. Forest land cannot be handed over to anybody, and therefore, a legal battle would be launched to in this regard, he added.

Kappatagudda stir

Hiremath said a day-and-night hunger strike would be staged at Gandhi Circle in Gadag from February 13 to 15, demanding the state government that re-declare Kappatagudda as a conservation reserve. Rural Development and Panchayat Raj minister H K Patil, who is incharge of Gadag district should ensure that the demand is fulfilled before February 15. Tontada Siddhalinga swami and members of various organisations would take part in the protest, he stated.

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